"By being in a relationship, it kind of kept me stabilized and grounded," Hudgens recalls.
In an interview with Awards Chatter podcast Monday, the "Rent Live!" star recalled starring in the Disney musical franchise and how she is thankful for her relationship with Zac Efron at the time, as they were both navigating sudden fame.
"It started off really organically," she recalled. "I could not have been more grateful to have that relationship at the time."
"It was this massive phenomenon and [all] eyes were on me," she added. "And it's just a really weird foreign thing to go through, and by being in a relationship, it kind of kept me stabilized and grounded, and I had someone to lean on who was going through it as well."
The couple, who reportedly started dating in 2006 and split in 2010, starred as on-screen love interests Gabriella Montez and Troy Bolton for all three "High School Musical" films. The first was released in 2006, the final in 2008.
Hudgens said on the podcast there were moments where it was difficult to be dating her co-star.
"I remember one time we did have a fight and it was while we were at rehearsals," she said. "I remember Kenny Ortega coming around the corner with the most concerned look on his face like, 'Oh no, is our movie going to fall apart right?'"
"I pride myself on being a professional," she added. "So I was like that aside we are going to move forward and do what we need to do...and we sorted it all out. I think because I was so young, I think that relationship stabilized me."
Hudgens has been dating actor Austin Butler for years. Although the couple met on the set of the first "High School Musical" in 2005, they reportedly didn't start dating until 2011.
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